State weather forecasters warned that Cagayan and Isabela will experience devastating winds of up to 220 kph late Wednesday as Typhoon Lawin (international name: Heima) continues on track toward Northern Luzon.
PAGASA also warned against heavy rains in Northern and Central Luzon, and storm surges of up to 5 meters—about the height of a two-floor building—in coastal areas.
Storm strength, track
As of 10 a.m. Wednesday, PAGASA posited Lawin some 385 km east of Casiguran, Aurora, with maximum sustained winds of 220 kph and gusts of up to 305 kph.
It is currently moving west-northwest at 26 kph and may make landfall in Cagayan or Isabela as early as 11 p.m. Wednesday.
Lawin is expected to cut across Cagayan, Apayao, and Ilocos Norte through the day Thursday and exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) by early Friday morning.
At 11 a.m., PAGASA hoisted Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal # 4 over the following areas, which can expect over 185 kph winds witin the next 12 hours:
- Southern Cagayan
Signal #3 was raised over the following areas, which should expect up to 185 kph winds within the next 18 hours:
- The rest of Cagayan
- Ilocos Sur
- Ilocos Norte
- Mt. Province
- Northern Aurora
Signal #2 is hoisted over these areas, which should brace for up to 100 kph winds within the next 24 hours:
- Calayan Group of Islands
- La Union
- Nueva Vizcaya
- Nueva Ecija
- The rest of Aurora
Signal # 1 is up over the following areas, which will see winds of up to 60 kph within the next 36 hours:
- Metro Manila
- Batanes Group of Islands
- Northern Quezon, including Polillio Islands
- Camarines Norte
- Camarines Sur
‘Super typhoon’ status
PAGASA and other international weather agencies are in agreement that Lawin is one of the most powerful and potentially destructive typhoons to emerge this year.
As of late Tuesday evening, the US Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) upgraded Lawin to a Category 5 typhoon, the highest level on its classification scale.